Friday, January 30, 2009

Two Weeks

Pitchers and catchers to spring training, that is.

Even this one.

I could have gone either way on this deal. I really like 'tek, don't get me wrong, but he didn't have a great offensive season last year, and does any organization like dealing with evil incarnate?

By the way, has anyone else noted that a certain temperamental slugger still doesn't have a contract for the season? Perhaps those antics last July weren't the best strategic move?

Sunday, January 25, 2009

More Good Energy for E and her Parents, Please

My friend's daughter was readmitted to the hospital on Friday. There was a leak in the repair of the structural malformation. She underwent 5 more hours of neurosurgery yesterday.

C, the mom, feels guilty and thinks she did something wrong. S, the dad, is angry. E is sitting up and doing okay (with a temporary drain in the back of her head) physically, but seems fragile emotionally, according to K, C's sister.

I saw C and E on Friday. I made her some hats. Something didn't feel right to me, but it was hard to communicate that to C. She apparently felt enough unease on her own to take E in, and thank goodness she did.

I've been talking to C's sister. We're worried for C and S - and E, of course. Any good vibes you can muster, please send them.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The Ceremonial Removal of the Cynical Bumper Sticker

I decided, back in November, that when Obama was sworn in, I'd remove the "Dissent is not Disloyalty" bumper sticker from my car. It's been there since immediately after the oh-so-disappointing 2004 election. At 3:30PM yesterday, in the parking garage at work, I scraped it off.

Oh, I know I could have kept it. The thought still applies, and particularly to ongoing church issues in town. But I want to be optimistic going forward. I want think positively, and that bumper sticker is from a very pessimistic time.

I've been yelled at several times over that bumper sticker. People who vehemently disagreed with it and me, people who believed that not agreeing with the Bush administration was equivalent to treason and I should leave the country, I was bad mother, and so on. I'm not kidding. People who have never read Thomas Jefferson, basically.

Removing that bumper sticker, however, does not mean I will follow our new administration blindly (my second choice of bumper sticker back then was "United we stand, not blindly we follow"). Not at all. I will still question, and look at issues with a critical eye. That's one of my jobs in this democracy.

But for now, the bumper sticker is gone, and I feel pretty good about that.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Just a Little Pet Peeve

Apparently I am finding words again. But not the really good, reflective ones. Yet.

There's something that has bothered me for years. Years and years. Decades, even. It bugged me when Bush the Elder was in office, and they did it with Regan and Ford. It bugged me when Clinton was in office. And it bugged me when Bush the Younger/Idiot was in office. (Oh my gosh, that's the first time I've written that in the past tense. WOOO!!!)

I really hate it people refer to Jimmy Carter, George H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and/or now George W. Bush as "President ___________."

People, at any given moment, there is only ONE President of the United States of America. One. Uno. Ein.


"President of the United States of America" is not a title for life. The President has it for his term only.

Carter, Clinton and the Bushes can be referred to as "former President." But not "President." Because none of them are the President.

There is only one President of the United States of America.

And his name is Barack Hussein Obama, II.

(And that just rocks.)

Ready to Begin

There's so much I want to say, but I don't know where to begin.

The electric charge in the air.

How the whole office - no, the whole building - stopped, watched, cheered...then listened.

Tears in the eyes of women - and men.

This amazing sense of forward-thinking purpose - yet also knowing it's going to be very hard.


Friday, January 16, 2009

Absurd: Another tale in the ever-amusing chronicle of my sister and her extremely dysfunctional life

In college, my sophomore year roommate declared one day that hubby (then just boyfriend, of course) were a good match because we had very similar and very warped senses of humor. Indeed, we tend to be extremely compatible in that area: there are things we find very amusing that no one else does.

My sense of humor takes an even more warped turn within my immediate family. Just as most sets of siblings have inside jokes and such, so do we. At the rare times the three of us have been together and degenerated into our own unique humor, even my husband looks at us oddly, not laughing, not getting it. But accepting.

It appears that my sister's husband still has not accepted this part of having married into the family; he still does not accept this. My sister and her husband have been married for almost 27 years. I think it's about time.

You see, for Christmas, there is always at least one gag gift given to each sibling. For several years, my sister and I were sending one another the cheesiest, most God-awful kokopelli gifts we could must. I'm talking so bad that the sequined kokopelli shirt with "Dance!" splashed across the back was NOT the worst of it. Her hubby did not appreciate any of this, I've just learned.

This year, given the weirdness of our relationship of late, I kept the gag gift simple. It was a book called, "Watch Your F*cking Language." It's about swearing effectively. Of course, in my family we all know how to swear quite effectively, but I thought this would bring some humor to the day.

Yesterday my sister emailed me and told me she's finally found the book and was enjoying learning some subtlties of usage that she hadn't previously considered. "Found it?" I emailed back?

Then she told me how her husband had taken the book out of her hands the moment she opened it because he didn't think it was appropriate for her.

I'll let you think about that for a moment.

My sister is 54 years old and her 57 year old husband is taking things from her hands because of "appropriateness." Their kids are 15 to 22 and, believe me, they know their curse words.

I responded to my sister with more incredulity. Seems he confiscated the copies of the Bunny Suicides books, too.

I checked with my 22 year old nephew, and he confirms the story.

I told you - totally absurd.

Thursday, January 15, 2009


An owl was in the small bit of woods behind the house last night. It came out fairly early, and C was the one who heard it first when he took the dog out for the last time for the evening. M was still awake (though in bed) and could hear it from their bedroom.

We (hubby, C, and I) bundled up and stood on the porch for about 10 minutes just listening. I think it's a Great Horned owl again.

The house, the kids are never so quiet as when we are listening for owls.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

How to Feel Young Again?

Specifically, how to feel the insecurity of adolescence again, and when you didn't quite intend to do so?

Get dissed on Facebook.

There is a Reason it Went Straight to DVD...and Even That Was Generous

In light of my recent movie recommendation, I thought I'd tell you a movie to avoid. At all costs.

I have no idea what possessed me to put the movie "Suburban Girl" in my NetFlix queue. I'd forgotten I had! But there it was in my mailbox last week. So I put it in last night while I was knitting. Within the first five minutes I could see it was absolutely terrible. Yet I endured it - mostly because my hands were full with yarn. I knew I could focus on my knitting and not miss anything critical.

No chemistry between the actors in the primary roles, poor transitions, the works.


Monday, January 12, 2009

Update on E

C's sister just called and E is out of surgery and in recovery. She came through it well. Her parents, C & S should be able to get into recovery to see her in the next few minutes.

Phew, phew, and phew.

When I think about another parent waiting out a surgery like we did with C, it rocks me to my core.

Thank you for your good thoughts on E's behalf.

I think I'm going to make her a cute hat to wear while her hair grows back...

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Throw Some Good Energy E's Way

The daughter of a friend of mine is having brain surgery tomorrow. As "straight-forward" and "routine" as one can call neurosurgery of any kind, this is supposed to be that. But still. They are opening up a little five year old's skull and poking and cutting and rearranging to correct a congenital defect (a chiari malformation, to be exact). It's say the least.

So, if you are reading this, if you could throw some positive energy towards little E and her parents C and S, that would be awesome. They're good people.

And thanks.

A Movie Recommendation

Last night we watched Helvetica. Yes, a movie about the typeface (or font). I didn't know what to expect, and was very pleasantly surprised. It really has me thinking.

As a technical writer, for years I was lucky enough to really work with typefaces. I had a couple jobs where I had pretty much free reign in choosing typefaces for headings and text in books and for brochures and the like. I really enjoyed that part of the job. I loved thinking about the page layout as much as I enjoyed the challenge of documenting the product. With our industry's move to single-sourcing tools and such, I really don't have that opportunity much any more. I miss it.

Anyway, if you want to see an interesting film about the way a typeface affects and is ubiquitous in our lives, check out this movie.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

At the Dinner Table

It had been a day of bickering and poking and general mayhem between the boys.

M: C, stop annoying Mom!

C, mockingly: I'm the better child.

M, mocking right back: No, I'm the better child.

S, to M, in all seriousness: No, I'm the better child. You make bad choices a lot of the time, but I only make bad choices some of the time.

Then we all degenerated into laughter.

Friday, January 09, 2009

I'm Just Sayin'

(this one is for you, PM)

Pitchers and catchers report 5 weeks from tomorrow.

Spring is on the way! (Never you mind the 6-9 inches of snow expected tomorrow.)

Blue Jays

When I looked out the back window this morning there were a good number of blue jays hanging out around our compost bin by the shed. I counted at least nine. But then C left for school and everyone else in the house started be more active, and they flew off. No chance for a photo, sadly.

I don't know what that says about the content of our compost. Do I want to know?

Early Winter

One of the things I love about winter is the clarity of the atmosphere. I mean that in the most literal sense. A few days ago we took the kids for a walk on the beach. It was cold, yes, but the air was so clear. We could see bits of land far out across the bay that we can't see the rest of the year. A lighthouse. A boat. The outline of a building.

Last night and today are vividly clear, too. When we turned out the lights last night, the bright, almost full moon and it's reflection off the snow were so bright, I started to wonder if the sun was being sneaky. I looked out the window and up and no, it was the moon, its light drowning out the light from stars. It was so clear it seemed like the sky could shatter if given a good hard knock.

Down at the harbor this noon, I think we saw an owl. Out of the corner of my eye what I thought was a hawk emerged from under the pier. But then its wing span (huge) didn't make sense and the shape of its head was different. I watched it make slow headway against the breeze for a few moments before it swooped into a clump of trees and became appropriately camouflaged. I hope it comes to visit us.

Other things become clear when the air is so clear - though resolutions may not be so clear.

The church situation is more clear in that it's a total mess and less clear in terms of any resolution. Another friend has quit the vestry, and the rector has tried to discredit her in the process. The Christmas services were just weird. I've come up with all sorts of ways not to shake the rector's hand during the Peace (on the infrequent times we do attend). Not very Christian, I know. I feel very uncomfortable when he seeks me out in the back row in the middle and uses his booming voice to greet me, unlike how he greets others; it makes me feel condescended to. So I blow my nose and sniffle a lot when he comes near. (Then I use anti-bacterial hand gel and shake everyone else's hands.)

It has become clear this winter is that I need to take C's newly discovered crustacean allergy much more seriously. I didn't think I hadn't been, but last night my husband made a Thai coconut chicken soup for dinner. Sounds perfectly safe, right? Not necessarily. He called me as he was making it and asked where the fish sauce was. I told him. We were still on the phone, chatting, when he was about to put it in the soup. Then all of a sudden, I remembered.

"Stop!" I interrupted. "Read the label on the fish sauce first!"


"The label. On the fish sauce, before you put it in the soup. I think some fish sauces use shrimp."

Sure enough.

We got lucky. No fish sauce went into the soup.

I spent part of this morning cleaning out the pantry of all items with suspect ingredients.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009


We've lost the remote to the downstairs DVD player. Can't find it anywhere. I wonder if it was thrown away inadvertently with some the the holiday debris.

I can't say I'm particularly upset about the situation.